The big news in that Shared Parental Leave comes fully into for on 5 April 2015, but don’t loose sight of the other changes to rights for adopting parents, and to parental leave.
We’ve set out some key bullet points below, but as you’d expect, there is much more to these changes. Ring us at the office if you have any questions (we’re on 0845 463 3231) – remember this whole area carries a high risk for sex discrimination claims.
Shared Parental Leave
- Leave must be taken taken between the baby’s birth and first birthday (or within 1 year of adoption).
- Mothers can return to work early and share remaining leave with their partner.
- Employees can take the leave in discontinuous periods – interspaced with returning to work, and taking annual leave.
- Parents can take leave at the same time as one another.
- Employees do have to qualify, for example they must have worked continuously for the Company for 26 weeks calculated as at the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth
- In general, these statutory rights are increased, including pay.
- Statutory Adoption Pay will align with maternity pay – the first six weeks will be paid at 90% of the employee’s normal earnings.
- The main adopter will be able to take paid time off for up to five adoption appointments. The secondary adopter will be entitled to take unpaid time off for up to two appointments.
- The rights will apply from the first day of employment – no qualifying period is required.
- Some surrogate parents will become eligible for adoption leave.
Parental Leave (not to be confused with Shared Parental Leave above)
- In addition and separate to Shared Parental Leave above, parents have rights to Parental Leave, which have increased.
- Parents must qualify for the leave, for example they need 1 year of service with the employer.
- This leave is unpaid.
- In total, 18 weeks of leave may be taken up to the child’s 18th birthday.
- Leave should be taken in blocks of one week – not odd days.
- This leave can be taken straight after a period of Shared Parental Leave or Adoption Leave.
We know it’s hard for small business owners to keep up to speed with the fine points of employment law and practice. If you have any expectant mothers or fathers in your business don’t make a mistake – talk to us about your processes, practices, of management of the situation. Ring us at the office on 0845 463 323 - if you’re wondering what we’re like, find out what other small local businesses think of us right here.